One More Christmas: Local boy suffers from inoperable brain tumo - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

One More Christmas: Local boy suffers from inoperable brain tumor

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Richard Culliver with his mother Richard Culliver with his mother

Typically Stephanie McMillan would be at work and her son, Richard would be at school. So in between sets, a tutor now comes to him at his request.

"He wants to learn," said McMillan. "He doesn't want to have to repeat 2nd grade and that's priority, he's thinking about that stuff."

And she's thinking about how to make every second count. Instead of the classroom, he's on the couch. And instead of the office, she's trying to savor one more Christmas with her son.

In October, 7-year-old Richard Culliver was running around like any other boy. Now he's losing his hearing and the ability to walk.

"I just want to make sure every day is good for him, and once the kids are in bed, that's kinda when I sit down and just like, huh, and I look at him while he's sleeping and I realize what we're dealing with," she said. "Sometimes I get overcome with emotion but for the most part, we just keep trucking along 'cause that's all you can do."

McMillan is a mom trying to strike a day-to-day balance between dreading what will happen and savoring what is happening.

"He's the sweetest kid ever," she said. "He tells me 5,000 times a day how much he loves me and I remember before all this thinking, 'Good Gracious, you don't have to say it this much', now with all this, it's like please don't stop."

And one of the thousands of moments passed as the WIS camera rolled.

When asked by McMillan if he loves his mother, Richard replied, "yes." When she asked him how much mommy loves him he responded "To the moon and back."

And on this earth, that is what they will keep on doing, loving each other between lasagna dinners and tree decorating.

"So if you take away every moment as it is, smile for what there is to be happy about, then it feels a little better," she said through tears. 

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